Chemical and Process Engineering


Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
Master of Engineering
Master of Engineering Studies
Doctor of Philosophy

Chemical and Process Engineering_student and lab


‌Engineers revolutionise the world. With a chemical and process engineering degree you will do that by tackling some of society's greatest challenges:

  • supplying clean, safe drinking water
  • creating sustainable energy opportunities
  • improving society's health and well-being,
  • providing a sustainable food supply.

Chemical and process engineers transform raw materials into processed, marketable products by chemical, physical or biological means. They take science experiments performed in the laboratory and operate them on a commercial-scale taking into account economics, safety and sustainability. Others are involved in the research and development of new products and processes, such as those in nanotechnology, biotechnology or advanced materials. It is the only traditional Engineering discipline that explicitly builds on Physics, Chemistry and Biological Sciences along with the mathematical rigour required of all engineers.

Why study at UC?

Minors in Bioprocess Engineering and Energy Processing Technologies

If you are interested in Biological Sciences as well as Engineering, the Bioprocess Engineering minor is worth considering. Bioprocess Engineering uses biology for sustainable and more effective processes and design of products such as protein, alcoholic beverages, vitamins, dairy products, detergents, confectionery, processed foods and clean water.

For those keen on sustainable engineering harnessing energy from natural resources, the Energy Processing Technologies minor will allow you to gain skills tackling environmental issues raised by extracting raw materials such as fossil fuels, and renewable energy.


100-level courses

The first year of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours is called the Engineering Intermediate Year. For Chemical and Process Engineering students, this is made up of:

Five compulsory courses taken by all Engineering students:

* No EFTS, no fees.

Plus courses specific to Chemical and Process Engineering:

In addition you must study at least 30 points of elective courses 

To ensure a total workload of 120 points in the first year. It is advisable to check with the College of Engineering student advisor for suggested electives.

More information:

The professional years

Once you have completed the Engineering Intermediate Year and successfully applied for entry into Chemical and Process Engineering, you will study that discipline within the three professional years.

See all courses (Years 2-4) required to complete a BE(Hons) in Chemical and Process Engineering.

The First Professional Year consists of compulsory courses in modelling, engineering chemistry, principles of biology, chemical process technology, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. 

In the Second and Third Professional Years courses include topics such as process systems and process engineering, thermodynamics, chemical reaction engineering, heat transfer and separations. 

Final-year students can include courses in more specialist topics, including renewable energy technologies, management, bioprocess engineering, industrial pollution control and wood products engineering to suit their specific interests, and must complete a group design project and an individual research project.

Career opportunities

Chemical and process engineers work in areas such as renewable energy, biofuels, environmental control, fermentation, waste treatment, food industry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

Even with the current decline in gas reserves, the petrochemical industry continues to grow and employs chemical engineers at oil refineries and a number of gas processing plants. As new oil and gas fields are discovered demand for graduates will certainly increase.

Other graduates are employed helping to make aluminium, steel, fertilisers, food, pharmaceutical and medical products, and in related areas such as project coordination, waste treatment, research, consulting, marketing, computing and management.

Graduates are eligible for membership of both IChemE and IPENZ after a period of experience as a practising engineer.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Chemical and Process Engineering.

More information

Department of Chemical and Process Engineering

Phone +64 3 369 3784

Physical location
See the Department's website for up-to-date contact details. 

Postal address
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Katethip varanyuwatana

Kate Varanyuwatana

'Engineering at UC is very well recognised in South East Asia and CAPE at UC has a very good reputation...'

Hannah farr

Hannah Farr

'My subject excites me because of the possibility that you can shape the world...'